Let me give you a little insight into what I was feeling when I heard the news about Brandon Davies:
Shock, disbelief, rage, more rage, white-hot rage, sympathy, hope.
Then the New Mexico game started. I think I was back to rage within the first four minutes.
Anyone who saw our No. 3 Cougars get their cakes handed to them by the unranked New Mexico Lobos saw that we have a big problem on our team. With Davies' dismissal we now have absolutely no inside game whatsoever. It became obvious to me on Wednesday night that Brandon Davies was the pace-setter for our big men. He may not play a lot of minutes (averaging just over 24 a game), but he sets a very important tone for the rest of our bigs.
James Anderson did not set that tone. He looked awkward and uncomfortable in the starting role. He can't handle the ball, he has no offense, and he's a turnover just waiting to happen.
Noah Hartsock is definitely a talented player, but he's as soft as a plush ballerina in the post. He can't play with his back to the basket.
So what does that leave us? A lot of rushed, off-balance jump shots. That's what. And that's no good.
Opponents will now follow the New Mexico model when they play the Cougars: Do not give BYU any respect whatsoever in the paint. On offense and defense. Pound it down their throats, because we gots no game down low.
Unfortunately that leaves us in a tough spot now. With little-to-no time to find our identity, BYU is about to enter the post season as weak and vulnerable as a Ute fan at a court hearing. At this point I doubt BYU will make it to the MWC Tournament championship game, and I doubt BYU will make it past the second round of the NCAAs.
It's hard to put it in writing, but that's how I feel deep down in my bones. I hope I'm wrong, though. I hope Dave Rose can figure this team out and we can still make a run.
But he'll have to fill some big shoes to do it.